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Children of the Planes $7.50
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Children of the Planes
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Children of the Planes
Publisher: Tangent Games
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2013 06:48:51

This sourcebook provides twelve planetouched races, going beyond the basic options of aasimar and tieflings. Unlike those two races, each of these has a specific outsider ancestry - lantern archons, dretch, and so on, rather than the more generic "celestials", or whatever.

There's a good balance of types here - of the races, five are descended from celestials of various kinds, five from assorted evil beings, and one each from LN and CN outsiders. The non-celestial parents are similarly varied, with one good and one evil variant for each of elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and orcs. This, of course, means that we have, among the others, the rather interesting concept of a race with both celestial and orcish blood - and its a combination that works surprisingly well.

The races are not over-powered; like aasimar and tieflings, they all have a +1 level adjustment, and their abilities are broadly equivalent to the ones possessed by those races. Some of the ideas are quite interesting. I like the inclusion of as many good-derived races as evil ones, and the inclusion of efreet among the latter, as well as fiends, gives some variety. It's also nice to see a good range of favoured classes, with some suited to combat, and others to magic.

The races are followed by fifteen new feats, most of them tied to specific races in the book. Some of these are arguably a bit powerful, giving access to the supernatural abilities of some moderately potent outsiders without any meaningful prerequisites.

Finally, there are seven prestige classes. Four of these are fighter-types with enhanced powers based around good, evil, law, and chaos. Of the others, one is essentially a boosted bard (which, for no particularly clear reason has to be female), another is a spellcaster focussed on both healing and inflicting damage, and the other is a means for characters of mixed ancestry to gain the racial abilities and feats of dwarves, elves, and so on. This part of the book, is, I feel, something of a mixed bag.

The layout is fairly basic, although the artwork is reasonable, and the writing could have done with a better edit. One the whole, while I like the idea of many of the races, the feats and prestige classes are less useful and lack the same spark of originality.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Children of the Planes
Publisher: Tangent Games
by Adam P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2011 02:33:27

Very creative with some interesting ideas for combing races. The artwork is not the greatest but the material is definitely worth it!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Children of the Planes
Publisher: Tangent Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/18/2007 14:21:30

Children of the Planes is a supplement of new races, along with associated new feats and prestige classes, for your d20 game. The zipped file is almost sixteen megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF of the book. The book is seventy-eight pages long, and has a hyperlinked table of contents and full bookmarks.

Most of the art in Children of the Planes is black and white. The majority of the pictures are illustrations of each kind of race, though several others appear throughout the book. In addition to the covers, several full color pieces are sprinkled throughout the book as well, mostly in the prestige classes section. There are no page borders to be found. This product has no printer-friendly version, but that shouldn’t be too big a deal for anyone, given the relatively light amount of artwork here.

Children of the Planes contains a dozen new planetouched races. In case you didn’t know, planetouched are those who are mostly a mortal race, but somewhere back in their ancestry they have an Outsider in their family tree, and have manifested a few strange traits reminiscent of that Outsider. One thing to note here is that while the standard planetouched (aasimar and tieflings) are fairly generic about what their mortal and Outsider mix is, each of the new races here is very specific on both counts, such as the korali, an elf-succubus mix. It’s also worth noting that each of these races has no racial Hit Dice, but a +1 level adjustment.

The book opens with a brief note about these planetouched breeding before showcasing the format for each entry. All of the new races here are presented in PHB style, opening with a bit of fiction before talking about things such as their alignment, their religion, etc., and finally giving us their racial information, and finally a few paragraphs of description about a specific individual (the one from the opening fiction). The chapter ends by giving us what many racial books often forget – the height, weight, and age tables for each of the new races.

Following this are fifteen new feats. Each new race has a single new feat that enhances one of their special powers, along with three new generic feats that can be taken by anyone with an inherent energy resistance.

Finally, seven new prestige classes are showcased. Each has ten levels, and while none of them require that you be a specific race, several require similar things (the abyssal dreadnaught, for example, requires you to have trace blood from a fiendish creature, or be a fiendish or half-fiendish being). Each also has a fully detailed NPC after them, and it’s a nice bonus that each such NPC is a character from the opening fiction for one of the new races.

Ultimately, Children of the Planes does a good job presenting a dozen new hybrids of mortal and immortal creatures. While all of them are roughly equal in power, they’re quite diverse, covering a wide range of niches. Some, however, may find that some of the combinations are bizarre at best and ridiculous at worst. Is it really necessary to have a new race for when leonals crossbreed with orcs (and they’re called leonorks)? By filling in such minor niches, Children of the Planes runs the risk of being too marginal; whether or not it is for your campaign is something only each individual can decide. If they do want what this product has to offer though, they’ll be getting a solid piece of work.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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